It is the day of the auspicious birth of our beloved Prophet, the Seal of all Prophets, the Mercy to all Mankind. On this blessed day, we send our peace and blessing upon Prophet Muhammed (saw). In the same way we turn to the Holy Quran for guidance in every aspect of our day-to-day lives, we turn to the Quran once again to understand the greatness of the Prophet.
In sending our blessing upon the Holy Prophet (saw) , we follow in the tradition of the Holy Quran, in which there are several occasions, where salaams are sent upon the great representatives of Allah. The Holy Quran quotes Prophet Isa (a.s.) saying in 19:33 “Peace is on me (Isa) the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!” This manner of blessings is replicated in 19:15, when blessings are sent upon Prophet Yahya (as) : “So Peace on him (Yahya) the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!” In this way, we too say: Our Salaams be upon you, O Prophet, on the day you were born.”
The greatness and perfection of our Holy Prophet (saw) is beyond our understanding and the capabilities of our words. To further understand the Prophet’s greatness we need to refer to the words of Quran, to be able to send our greetings to the Holy Prophet (saw) on his day of birth. The Quran in 2:129 refers us back to Prophet Ibrahim (as), who raised his hands in prayer upon the completion of the building of the Holy Kaaba, and prayed: “Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”
Allah, the Mighty and the Wise, sent us Prophet Muhammed-e-Mustafa (saw) as the Messenger for whom Prophet Ibrahim raised his hands in prayer. Allah sent His beloved Prophet as one of His greatest signs to mankind, to guide and lead them, which He states in 62:2 “It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom- although they had been, before, in manifest error.”
He bestowed upon us as an act of kindness, the Prophet to guide us through wisdom and through actions: “Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error. (3:164)
The pure and perfect character of the Holy Prophet (saw) is identified as a source of guidance by Allah for all believers, as Allah says in 68:04 “And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.” Due to his character, the Holy Prophet was given many titles by the people of Mecca, such as Al-Amin (The Trustworthy), but the Lord of the Worlds bestowed upon him the title of the Mercy for All Mankind in 21:107 “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.” Allah, the Merciful, grants all His creation mercy, but for those who obey Allah and His final messenger, they are particularly blessed, as He says in 3:132 ““And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy.”
To obtain mercy from Allah, obedience to Allah and His messenger is required. In the same way, to obtain the love of Allah, it is necessary to follow in the path of the Holy Prophet (saw), as explained in 3:31 “Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
To obtain the love of Allah, the Holy Prophet should be followed, but to obtain the love of the Holy Prophet, love has to be shown towards his nearest of kin, the beloved household of the Prophet (saw), the Ahlulbayt. This is shown in 42:23, where it is stated “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin." And who are these nearest of kin? How can we identify them?
To do so, we need to turn towards the words of the fourth Imam, in the streets of Shaam, following the tragedy of Karbala. When cursed by people from the crowd, who considered the caravan of Ahlulbayt as rebels against their ruler Yazid, Imam Zainul-Abideen (as) referred to this verse. The Holy Imam, said “I swear by God, and in the name of my grandfather, we are this Ahlulbayt, the nearest of kin.” We should therefore show our respect and love for the members of the Ahlulbayt, to show our love towards our Holy Prophet (saw)
To be able to implement this love of the Holy Prophet (saw) and our obedience to him, in our everyday lives, we look towards the practical example of our first Imam, who reflected both the love he had for Prophet Muhammed (saw) and his obedience towards him in every word and in every action. Imam Ali (as) states this in his own words in Sermon 190 of the Nahjul Balagha, “Then I said “Oh prophet of Allah, I am the first to believe in you” ”. Imam Ali eloquently describes his obedience towards the Prophet in this very sermon by saying “I used to follow him, like a young camel following in the footprints of its mother.”
On the Birthday of the Holy Prophet (as), we send our salaams upon him, and pray that we too, like our first Imam, may show greater love and obedience to our Prophet in our lives. On this auspicious day, we extend our felicitations to the lovers of the Prophet and his Ahlubayt, peace be upon them.